COLOMBIA

DESTINATION GUIDE

Stretching from the Caribbean coast to the Amazon jungle, Colombia is one of South America’s most alluring countries. Pure white beaches melt into misty Andean mountains, and lively cities give way to ancient ruins. You’ll find cobbled towns with gorgeous colonial architecture, exceptional museums housing pre-Columbian treasures, and spectacular gardens in Medellín, the City of Eternal Spring. Our Colombia travel experiences take you from the magical Cocora Valley, home to the world’s tallest palm trees, to the Coffee Triangle with lush coffee fields and historic haciendas. You’ll enjoy lunch with the prominent Davila family in Santa Marta and learn how they became South America’s leaders in sustainable farming. You’ll also meet anthropologist Dr. Santiago Giraldo in Tayrona National Park, who will take you on an exclusive journey to meet the region’s elusive indigenous tribes. From meeting local farmers and traditional artisans, to a rare cultural encounter with Colombia’s indigenes, you’ll connect with the Colombian people in a way you’ll never forget.

"Meeting the indigenous tribes of Tayrona National Park with Dr. Santiago Giraldo in Colombia will be one of the greatest experiences of your life."

Travel Director

Colombia at a glance

Currency

Colombian peso

Winter avg temp

23°C

Summer avg temp

17°C

Time Zone

GMT +5

Capital City

Bogota

Language

Spanish

 

Good Morning

Buenos días

Good evening

Buena noches

Explore unspoiled Caribbean beaches, misty Andean mountains and beautiful colonial towns. See the spectacular gardens of Medellín, the lush coffee fields of Cocora and experience a rare cultural encounter with an indigenous tribe. Join your expert Trafalgar Travel Director and discover one of South America's most alluring countries.

Our top 3 things to do in Colombia

Our Colombia holidays take you from the famous cities like Bogota and Medellín, to the lush Coffee Triangle and Cocora Valley, to the spectacular wilderness of Tayrona National Park.

Visit La Candelaria, Bogota's vibrant historic heart

Explore the lively heart of Bogota in La Candelaria, with beautiful architecture and fascinating museums. You’ll witness a blend of old and new, from impressive graffiti murals, to grand colonial façades from the 16th century. Visit the Museum of Gold to see pre-Columbian gold artefacts, wander the markets, and sample traditional dishes like ajiaco.

Stroll through Botanical Gardens of Medellín

We’ll enjoy lunch in the Botanic Gardens of Medellín, or Jardín Botánico, a gorgeous sanctuary in the heart of the city. This sprawling park features a large lake and a maze of pathways between beautiful trees and gardens. It’s also home to a large population of birds and wild iguanas.

Explore the Coffee Triangle

We’ll take you deep into the UNESCO-listed Coffee Triangle, with historic farms and stunning coffee fields. You’ll drive through the lush countryside before sharing lunch with a coffee plantation owner’s family. You’ll then join Juan Pablo Echeverry at his hacienda for a memorable Colombian ‘coffee baptism’.

Best museums in Colombia

Our Colombia holiday packages will take you to the top museums, from the world’s largest collection of gold artefacts to the former Inquisition headquarters.

The Gold Museum

The Gold Museum, or Museo del Oro, is one of South America’s top museums. It’s located in Bogota and houses the largest collection of gold artefacts in the world, with more than 55,000 pieces of gold. You’ll also find other items from Colombia’s pre-Hispanic cultures including metal, pottery, wood, stone, shell and textiles.

Museum of Antioquia

Located in Medellín, the Museum of Antioquia is one of the top art museums in the country. It contains around 100 artworks donated by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The museum also features colonial, modern and pre-Colombian art collections. Outside the museum, you’ll find 23 abstract bronze sculptures made by Fernando Botero.

Inquisition Palace

It may be one of the finest buildings in Cartagena, but the Palace of Inquisition has a dark past. It was once the torture headquarters for the brutal Inquisition, and today it’s a museum displaying the inquisitors’ torture instruments. You’ll also learn the history of the city with paintings, furniture, pottery and armaments.

Best food in Colombia

Our Colombia organised tours are all about discovering the delicious cuisine of Colombia. Your Local Specialist will show you the best places to try the favourites, from tamales to ajiaco.

Tamales

Tamales are a classic Latin American dish, found from Mexico to Costa Rica. In Colombia, tamales are eaten throughout the year but are especially popular over the Christmas holidays. They’re made from flavoured rice, meats, vegetables, egg and spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed for hours.

Ajiaco

Ajiaco is a traditional Colombian dish and is especially popular in Bogota. It’s a hearty soup made with three varieties of potatoes, chicken, corn and the Galingsoga parviflora herb (known as guasca). It’s best enjoyed with a plate of rice and avocado, or topped with capers and cream.

Bandeja Paisa

Hailing from the Paisa region of Colombia, the bandeja paisa is a beloved traditional meal. The generous dish includes rice, red beans, Colombian sausage, ground meat, chicharrón (fried pork rind), chorizo, plantain, avocado and fried egg. The word ‘bandeja’ means ‘platter, so you know you’re in for a delicious feast.

Spanish phrasebook

Spanish is the national language of Colombia. Learning a few Spanish phrases is always appreciated and will make it easier to connect with the locals.

An adaptor plug

Voltage in Wales is 230V and the sockets are of Type G, with standard British 3-pin plugs.

A pair of sunglasses

Summer or winter, a pair of sunglasses is essential. If visiting in the colder months, the reflection of the sun on the white snow will give your eyes a surprising strain.

Versatile clothing

From the heat of Cartagena to the cooler weather of Bogota, Colombia has a diverse range of climates. Be sure to pack layers, including a raincoat for the wet season.

Bug spray

Colombia lies on the Caribbean coast and the Amazonian region, so you’ll need plenty of bug spray to avoid mosquitoes and other insect bites.

What to pack for Colombia

Other things to know before you go

Depending on your nationality, you'll need a valid passport and may also need visas to enter. Please check this well in advance of your trip departure date here. Some countries also require passports to have 3-6 months left on them before the given expiry date, so be sure to double check this before booking your travels.

Road Trip Adventures

Slide into your seat, grip the wheel, start the engine, and hit the open road. From Norway to South Africa, the tundra to the rainforest, there is no limit to what you can reach with four wheels and an adventurous spirit. The road trip is no longer a means to get from point A to point B in your country; it crosses borders into new places, allowing for pure freedom in exciting destinations. Measure your next journey in viewpoints, road signs, and the people you'll meet along the way!

Road Trip Adventures

Slide into your seat, grip the wheel, start the engine, and hit the open road. From Norway to South Africa, the tundra to the rainforest, there is no limit to what you can reach with four wheels and an adventurous spirit. The road trip is no longer a means to get from point A to point B in your country; it crosses borders into new places, allowing for pure freedom in exciting destinations. Measure your next journey in viewpoints, road signs, and the people you'll meet along the way!

Guide to Colombia Visa Application

Learn about the types of visas and the step by step process of obtaining a visa for Colombia and quarantine regulations in this comprehensive guide.

  This includes types of visa applications, what to declare, and what is prohibited.

Keep in mind these handy tips for a smart, stress-free, and on-time visa application experience! 

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